Walworth County Special Education - 1990-2000

Walworth County Special Education - 1990-2000

In 1990, program costs for Walworth County Children with Disabilities Education Board (WCCDEB) were $4,462,154. The total enrollment for students receiving special education was 959 children. This enrollment figure required 104.23 full-time equivalents (FTE) school staff to provide services throughout the 15 school districts, as well as, at Lakeland School. Phil Knobel served as the Director of Special Education, Richard Turk was the Assistant Director, and Corwin Krugh was the Principal of Lakeland School.

In July of 1993, Corwin Krugh retired as principal of Lakeland School after 16 years of service. Greg Kostechka, who started as the adaptive physical education teacher in 1974, moved into the vacant administrative position. The CDEB budget had grown to $6,277,172 to cover program expenditures. The total enrollment for students receiving special education was 1,149. This enrollment required 129.95 FTE staff to provide services throughout the county.

After 33 years of service (starting as the Industrial Arts teacher in 1965 and becoming the Director of Special Education in 1970), Phil Knobel retired from his career with Walworth County and Lakeland School in December of 1998. Diane Brinkman was hired as the new Director of Special Education and was responsible for managing the CDEB/Lakeland School organization. Her first budget in 1999 experienced $8,016,185 in actual expenditures. The total Walworth County Special Education enrollment was 1,556 students. This number represented 9.33% of the total enrollment in all of the public and private schools in Walworth County. This figure compared favorably less to the state average of 11.81% of students who received special education. To provide special education services for the students with special needs, 152.13 FTE staff worked for Walworth County CDEB. Lakeland School enrollment was 229 students. (This is the first year of available data that could be verified for tracking purposes).

During this 1990-1999 swing, the CDEB budget expenditures grew 79.6% or by $3,554,031. The FTE staff increase was 46.0%. And, finally, the overall enrollment for students receiving special education services in Walworth County grew by 62.3%. All of these numbers fueled the next decade of history and debate for the special education delivery in Walworth County and its possible future.

Prior to 1999, all early childhood students (ages 3 to 6) attended Lakeland School. With state and federal initiatives evolving in the late 90’s, there was a strong push to return placement options back into the local school districts. Diane Brinkman, Director of Special Education at the time, was largely responsible for initiating this early childhood movement. This transition process continues to evolve in hopes of providing multiple placement options in the child’s neighborhood school district while maintaining a Lakeland School option for those students with unique and exceptional needs. Diane retired from her employment with the CDEB/Lakeland School in December of 2001.